Chaos, Fear, Panic Descend on EU’s Hallowed Halls of Power

Monday, February 2, 2015
By Paul Martin

“You just killed the Troika.”

By Don Quijones
February 2, 2015

According to Greek private broadcaster Mega TV, “You just killed the Troika” were the parting words that Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem whispered into the right ear of Greece’s new Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis at the end of what was clearly a tense meeting. Varoufakis’ response was a monosyllabic but no less emphatic “Wow.”

While Dijsselbloem’s statement verges on hyperbole – it’s hard to imagine that the Troika’s dreaded three-headed hydra could be slain by just a few harsh words from a Greek economist-turned-politician – it’s nonetheless a fair reflection of the atmosphere of chaos, fear and panic that has descended upon the EU’s hallowed halls of power since Syriza’s election victory last Sunday.

For the first time since the global financial crisis buffeted Europe’s southern shores, in late 2009, a country has voted in a government that refuses to play by the Troika’s rules. In just its first week of power Syriza provoked the Troika’s ire a number of times, by promising to raise the country’s minimum wage and state pensions as well as put a halt to much of the former government’s privatization program.

In fact, according to a statement by Varoufakis, Greece’s new government no longer wants to even have anything to do with the Troika. As the Greek daily Tovima reports, the message was clean, clear and aggressive:

“We do not recognize the troika because it is extra-institutional, nor will we debate the previous program because the Greek people voted against it”.

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